Eight safe family cars that cost less than £350 a month

Eight safe family cars that cost less than £350 a month

by Chris Lloyd |

Your children are the most precious things you will ever transport in your car, so it’s important to know how safe your family car is.

Our friends at Parkers have found some of the safest family cars - for rear-seat passengers, as well as front-seat - all available for less than £350 per month (with a £5,000 deposit).

Crash test body EuroNCAP puts the vast majority of new cars through their paces to assess just how safe they are – for pedestrians, and those in the back, plus driver and passenger. All the cars below aced the test for smaller passengers in the rear, as well as those up front – so you can be sure there are few safer places for your children.

If you're considering finance, check out how much you can afford to borrow with the Parkers car finance tool.

Volkswagen Touran – £338/month

This seven-seat VW is so family oriented that it’s called the “SE Family”.

This means you get details like electrically activated child locks, rear sunblinds, a panoramic sunroof, an electronic voice amplification function for the driver, plus automatic emergency low-speed braking.

Boasting five ISOFIX anchoring points in the second and third rows, the Touran is one of very few cars that can accommodate more than three child seats.

The Touran isn’t a cheap option, however, with monthly payments at £338 per month, even spread over four years. APR charges are on the high side, so you might want to hand it back at the end of the contract, as you’ll have paid more than £4,000 in interest if you buy the car when the scheme finishes.

Finance offer: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 115 SE Family*

  • Child safety score: 89 percent

  • Monthly cost: £337.69 (47 payments)

  • Deposit: £5,000

  • Deposit contribution: £0

  • APR: 6.5 percent

  • Total amount payable by customer: £30,814.73

  • Cash price: £26,745

  • Mileage allowance: 10,000 miles per year

BMW X1 – £335/month

Fancy an off-roader rather than a people-carrier? The BMW X1 is very nearly as safe as the Touran. In fact, it’s even safer for those in the front.

Despite being nearly £4,000 pricier for cash buyers, finance costs for the BMW are actually just a bit lower (again over four years with a £5,000 deposit).

You’ll pay more overall if you buy the X1 at the end of the contract though.

The diesel engine should be pretty economical for the size of car, too.

Finance offer: BMW X1 sDrive 18d M Sport*

  • Child safety score: 87 percent

  • Monthly cost: £335.40 (47 payments)

  • Deposit: £5,000

  • Deposit contribution: £0

  • APR: 4.9 percent

  • Total amount payable by customer: £34,193.03

  • Cash price: £30,440

  • Mileage allowance: 10,000 miles per year

Audi A4 Avant – £351/month

The Audi A4 Avant estate is really practical as a family car, while keeping rear-seat passengers super safe.

It costs a lot more than the BMW and VW above, but it’s still worth so much at the end of the contract that monthly payments work out smaller. You can just about get a three-year contract in budget.

So, you can afford to swap the car after three years rather than four, if you fancy a change.

The petrol engine is powerful but economic, and naturally has the Audi style that many love. There’s loads of boot space for pushchairs, shopping, and everything else you need for a day out with the children.

Finance offer: Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI S tronic S Line*

  • Child safety score: 87 percent

  • Monthly cost: £350.91 (35 payments)

  • Deposit: £5,000

  • Deposit contribution: £2,500

  • APR: 3.9 percent

  • Total amount payable by customer: £33,384.85

  • Cash price: £33,480

  • Mileage allowance: 10,000 miles per year

Renault Megane - £154/month

The Renault Megane is much better for your pockets than the family cars above - it works out at less than half of the monthly cost of the A4.

It‘s a smaller car, but it doesn’t skimp on safety, with the same rear passenger score as the Audi.

The Megane works out equally good value if you buy it at the end of the contract; it’ll cost less overall than if you paid the list price up front.

Finance offer: Renault Megane Dynamique Nav TCe 130*

  • Child safety score: 87 percent

  • Monthly cost: £154 (36 payments)

  • Deposit: £5,000

  • Deposit contribution: £1,750

  • APR: 4.1 percent

  • Total amount payable by customer: £17,492

  • Cash price: £18,100

  • Mileage allowance: 6,000 miles per year

Ford S-Max - £350/month

If you want the largest possible car, with the highest safety score, then the Ford S-Max (and its sister, the Galaxy), are for you.

They’re bigger than the Volkswagen Touran, and have three rows of seats, so you can easily fit the whole family in.

They’re pricey, though.

The S-Max is a well thought-out car, so you shouldn’t feel short changed – especially as interest charges are less than half that of the Touran.

Finance offer: Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCI 150 Zetec*

  • Child safety score: 87 percent

  • Monthly cost: £349.84 (36 payments)

  • Deposit: £5,000

  • Deposit contribution: £0

  • APR: 2.9 percent

  • Total amount payable by customer: £28,821.24

  • Cash price: £27,345

  • Mileage allowance: 9,000 miles per year

Kia Optima Sportswagon - £268/month

The Optima Sportswagon estate is a really good value family car, at less than £270 per month on a three-year contract (with £5,000 deposit).

Space for five and a large boot means that this Kia will do a perfect job of ferrying around the kids - but at a much better price than the Audi.

The engine is diesel, meaning it should be economic, too - its running costs should be lower than the Audi.

Finance offer: Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7 2*

  • Child safety score: 86 percent

  • Monthly cost: £267.93 (36 payments)

  • Deposit: £5,000

  • Deposit contribution: £500

  • APR: 4.9 percent

  • Total amount payable by customer: £25,107.98

  • Cash price: £23,495

  • Mileage allowance: 10,000 miles per year

Toyota Avensis Touring Sports - £222/month

The Toyota Avensis Tourer is a bit bland, but although it might be invisible in the school car park, you can’t do much better for safety, practicality, value and reliability.

Monthly payments for an entry-level diesel model are £222 per month on a three-year contract.

A £1,000 deposit contribution from Toyota makes it good value whether you hand it back at the end of the term or buy it outright.

Along with the Honda Jazz below, it’s also the safest car in our round-up for those in the front seats.

Finance offer: Toyota Avensis Touring Sports 1.6D Active*

  • Child safety score: 85 percent

  • Monthly cost: £221.52 (36 payments)

  • Deposit: £5,000

  • Deposit contribution: £1,000

  • APR: 4.9 percent

  • Total amount payable by customer: £20,827.22

  • Cash price: £20,190

  • Mileage allowance: 10,000 miles per year

Honda Jazz - £179/month

The Honda Jazz is a bit like a Tardis. Compact on the outside, huge on the inside, and, more importantly, very safe for passengers, whichever seat they’re in.

The low price means with just over £3,000 in deposit, monthly payments come in just £179, and you can afford to change into a new car after just two years.

If you’d rather keep the car, however, zero-percent APR means you’ll pay nothing in interest for the privilege of spreading the cost.

Finance offer: Honda Jazz 1.3 i-VTEC EX*

  • Child safety score: 85 percent

  • Monthly cost: £179 (24 payments)

  • Deposit: £3,196.35

  • Deposit contribution: £0

  • APR: 0.0 percent

  • Total amount payable by customer: £15,995

  • Cash price: £15,995

  • Mileage allowance: 10,000 miles per year

*Deals are correct at time of publication. Everyone’s financial circumstances are different and credit is not always available – Mother&Baby and Parkers cannot recommend a deal for you specifically. These deals are indicative examples of some packages available this week.

Read more family car reviews at Parkers

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